The disappearance of Malaysian Flight MH370 shows the need for requiring all airlines to equip their planes with GPS connectivity, Alaska Air Group CEO Bradley Tilden told CNBC on Friday.
"I think that where we are with basically airspace in general and the way we surveil airplanes when they are in flight, the technology is ready for us to move to what we call next generation air traffic control," Tilden said on "Squawk on the Street" "The technology is there. Many airlines, including Alaska, are equipped or ready."
Little is known about what happened to Flight 370, but its March 8 disappearance raises the question as to whether GPS connectivity would have helped officials locate the aircraft.
The Boeing 777, which took off from Kuala Lampur for Beijing, disappeared from civilian radar screens less than an hour after departure. Investigators say someone turned off the plane's transponder, a device identifying jets to ground controllers, either on purpose or by accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires use of global positioning systems in the United States, but there is no such requirement globally.
To Tilden, a certified pilot who has been flying since he was 18, it makes sense from both an airline executive and pilot's perspective that all planes be GPS ready.
"It is time for us to all sort of move forward together," he said. "I think there will be a lot of improvements to capacity in the system, but also to safety when we make that step forward."
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